Frances Ha (2013), Noah Baumbach


frances_ha_xlgThis film was recommended ages ago to me, by my good friend Janina who thought I would enjoy it. Directed by Noah Baumbach, “Frances Ha”, explores the story of a 20-something year old in New York City, just trying to figure herself out.

The movie starts out introducing the friendship between Frances Halladay and Sophie Levee. The beginning of the film makes it seem that they are nearly inseparable. they eat, they laugh, they sleep in the same bed and smoke together. They also introduce France’s boyfriend, who seems to be ready to take the next step (he wants to buy cats and have Frances move into his apartment) but she isn’t feeling it too much. They end up breaking up.

Frances is also a Dancer who is trying to make it big.. but at 27, she hasn’t got too far yet. She’s trying to create things and audition more. But it isn’t working. You get the feeling that she’s stuck. As if she doesn’t know how to go forward and she’s very comfortable in her relationship with Sophie (in the sense that she doesn’t want anything to ever change), and she’s just always JUST making enough to get by.

But then Sophie surprises her. She decides to move in with her boyfriend, leaving Frances to figure out her own life. She struggles a bit trying to find some place to sleep, but eventually figures out a living situation with these two guys (Benji&Lev) in Chinatown. It’s this totally cool place to live, but these guys aren’t really in her financial bracket. And she struggles to pay rent. she eventually loses this dance job she thought she had for during the holidays, and she decides to go back home for Christmas. She’s a little all over the place. Before leaving for the holidays, her and Sophie have a fight (Frances basically doesn’t like Sohpie’s basic boyfriend, and she can’t listen to Sophie saying that she loves the guy). I feel like this was a stupid fight.

Frances goes off to Califronia for christmas with the family. It’s pretty stereotypical as family christmas’ go (In the american sense). She then decides to stay away from New York and use this credit card she got in the mail to go to Paris for two days. Who the fuck goes to Paris for two days. It’s a whim thing. She tries to hang out with people she knew in Paris,.. it doesn’t really work out. she comes back to New York on Monday for a stupid meeting involving her Dancing. Well she thought it was going to be. It turns out it was just an offer to work in the office of the dance company she’s part of.

She refuses and this is right about when things start to get humble. She moves back to her old university to live in the dorms and work as a waitress. There’s some shit that goes down with Sophie and she slowly starts focusing on all the thing that are going wrong in her life.. She eventually gets back to New York, takes the modest job, moves into her own apartment and makes up with Sophie.

I think she’s finally starting to realize that things don’t all come at once and there is this messed up pathway to things. Also, it’s pretty frustrating and stupid to be around everyone else  your life who has some sort of path that’s working out, and you’re the odd one out. I think this film really tries to relate to the odd underdog. But it also does this weird think of making you feel like you’re better than the main character for the majority of the film. It’s interesting.

I also felt like a teenage girl for a big part of this review. it might have been the wording I used in this post, but I felt as if I was back and 17, describing the relationships between girlfriends. But fast forward the same stories a decade and you have similar involving relationships and friendships.

I recommend this film to anyone looking to watch a modern day black and white film. It’s interesting and enjoyable, but nothing too special I found. Average. But in a good way. Apparently it’s apart of a genre of film called “Mumblecore” that I haven’t heard of before today:

Mumblecore is a subgenre of American independent film[1][2] characterized by low budget production values and amateur actors, heavily focused on naturalistic dialogue.”- Wiki.

Thanks Wikipedia.

Here’s the trailer:


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